In March 1953, sharing an interest in forming a nuclear medicine organization, five radiologists, a cardiologist, two internists, a physicist, an engineer, and a nuclear medicine physician from the Pacific Northwest met in Spokane, Washington, They founded the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (formally the Society of Nuclear Medicine). They decided on The Society of Nuclear Medicine as the name of the new organizations, and all interested in Nuclear Medicine would be eligible for membership.
Thomas Carlyle was chosen as the first president. The first meeting of the Society was held in Seattle, Washington, in 1954. the society soon became a national organization, and the original organization became the society's Pacific Northwest chapter.
Over the years, the SNMMI has sponsored various continuing education sessions dedicated to the history of nuclear medicine/molecular imaging and the society itself. A compilation of those sessions are included below:
In addition, in 2013, through the leadership of the SNMMI History Committee, a Wall of Remembrance was created. The "wall" is on display during the Annual Meeting and features short obituaries of some of the most predominant leaders in the field. Each year, the individuals recognized on the wall changes.